Directly after planning to hold an event typically arrives the question: how am I going to fund it? The widely spread financing option is always to seek sponsors, but successfully getting sponsors for your event is a job easier said than done. Sponsors get dozens of proposals nearly on a daily basis, so the key lies in two guidelines: approaching sponsors in the right manner and approaching the right sponsors.
How to get more sponsors for your event
Here are a few tactics you can utilize to raise your odds for sponsorship opportunities, funding, building brand awareness, increasing sales numbers and improving your brand image.
Take a look within
In many cases, your potential sponsors are inside your scope, yet the default is to lead an outside hunt immediately. To learn about their capabilities and connection, always remember to start by conversing with your:
- members of the board,
You may even look at your social media contacts to check if anyone can assist you with connections to individuals who handle corporate sponsorships.
Your existing network can be one of your most dominant resources if you make use of it, particularly that you have already established trust with the contacts. Regardless of whether they do or do not turn out to be potential sponsors themselves, they can be a decent possibility of helping you discover referrals, get introductions and even give you feedback.
Give attendees the upper hand
At this point you should have already done your market research and you have known your target market truly well. Only a couple of answers to certain inquiries can get you a list of potential sponsors! Use the registration questions feature in ticketing platforms such as Eventtus to ask your event attendees about their interests, and the brands or individuals that they follow. That way, you can find out more about what they like, and reach out to prospective sponsors accordingly.
Shortlist sponsors with whom you share common ground
Sponsors sometimes leverage their sponsorships in events as a marketing strategy, so naturally, they would invest in events that are tied legitimately to their campaign goals
Set aside time to look into the organization you intend to pitch to and learn about their corporate identities and goals. The way to locate common ground between both of your purposes would be to discover what you and your sponsor share, and fully understand your event goals and how it provides value to the sponsor.
For instance, if the target audience of the event are the youth between the ages of 18-30 and these match the sponsor’s customers, this would be a direct benefit to their organization, and you could provide them with data mining reports that would be of use to them.
Reach out to sponsors of similar events
Take note of sponsors that have already sponsored similar events to yours. Odds are these brands are already acquainted with the value of event sponsorship and are bound to invest and put resources in this type of marketing after witnessing the end results first-hand. The reputation of such sponsors and their perspective on events can definitely determine your future partnership with them and even how fruitful the event will be.
For example, if you’re organizing a networking event, discover who sponsored the other networking events in your region and start contacting them.
Choose the right timing to approach sponsors
Timing is everything! Be that as it may, particularly with sponsoring events, most businesses only do event sponsoring at specific times of the year, since their event budgets are very often formulated from the year before. There is no one optimal time of the year; it varies significantly based on factors including the economy, the industry and the company’s ROI performance. Other companies may sponsor events all year round yet have a restricted spending plan during specific seasons.
In all cases, do your research to know when the peak sponsoring times are. Give your sponsorship campaign enough time (months perhaps) to traverse. This means you need to prepare ahead of time in order to not sell yourself short on a really short timeframe!
Identify the correct contacts
In any organization, there are decision makers about whether or not to sponsor a particular event. The key is to identify who that person is at the company you targeted to approach to sponsor your event.
Scan the name of the company you’re interested in on LinkedIn and find the person with the job title you’re looking for. You may even pinpoint their professional email address, which could spare you the step of finding a way to approach the company. Who you contact will reply ultimately on the size of the company; it could extend from the sponsorship department to the business owners themselves.
Make the initial contact online
Many take the quick stride of communicating with potential sponsors over the phone. This doesn’t leave ample time for the sponsor to consider the project, so calling often comes off as intrusive, unless your company has had correspondence with the organization beforehand.
The ideal ways to connect for the first time would be through email communication (yet try to avoid sending to [email protected] email addresses) or on a professional social media network like LinkedIn where you can contact the decision makers. This enables the potential sponsors to have the opportunity to analyze the offer and get back to you with a solid thought-through reply. This can be a make it or break it step. Make sure to use refined language and a well-organized communication process in order to catch their attention and retain it!
Remember that the sponsor is your customer too
The easy road is to think about your end customer being the attendee, but sponsors need to be seen as your customers as well, since in many cases they are the main source of revenue. Let the focal point of your pitch be the clear-cut benefits to the sponsor and not you. Make their questions a top priority and address each inquiry they have, particularly why they should sponsor your event. Be as empathetic as possible towards their own wants and needs, and showcase that their needs are as significant as yours. Pitching hard for the cash purposes exclusively is always a deal-breaker. On the other hand, building a long-lasting relationship is a win-win situation! Make your pitches are personalized rather than generic.
Prepare a concise pitch
The savvy approach to this is to pitch not only the particular event that’s going to take place, but additionally to pitch past events. Hearing about the success of your previous events based on post event satisfaction surveys with attendees is likely to tilt the odds in your favor as proof that you are a subject matter expert and can be trusted to convey high-quality work.
Concerning your upcoming event, make a point to have a clear concept for the event and depict thoroughly how that concept will be developed and executed. Be data-heavy in the proposal, use technology in determining the expected ROI, incorporate numbers, and make them visualize what they’re investing in. Your plan to market and create engagement at the event is additionally a great illustration to assist you in this. Give them all the information they need to make an informed decision.
Offer various sponsorship packages
Not only do you need to customize your pitch, but you also need to customize the event sponsorship agreement packages and not just state a lump sum you require for the event.
Tailor a couple of packages that detail the desired sum along with the benefits the sponsor will gain in each. It’s smarter to under promise and over deliver than the opposite. Make sure you offer them measurable ROI using lead retrieval apps such as Eventtus Leadbox as part of the packages to ensure the cost-effectiveness of their presence in the event.
Provide them with the ROI they need
The main dealbreaker when it comes to sponsoring an event or not all depends on whether the company will receive their money’s worth through this event. That’s where event tech solutions come to the rescue!
If the sponsors are intending on exhibiting at your event, tools such as Eventtus Leadbox will allow them to capture, qualify and retrieve leads that visit their booth; thus receiving a tangible return on their investment (ROI). After your event ends, instead of contacting irrelevant contacts, they will be able to reach out to leads that are ready to seal the deal. That’s why propose they exhibit at your event and utilize the lead retrieval feature in the event app.
Establish a strong social presence
Social media has now become a determinant of a brand’s position. More often than not, sponsors will predict the success of an event simply by observing their the event’s social media activity. Your pitch will be backed up by perceiving how connected you are to your client base on social media, so make sure your channels are updated and engaging!
Dedicate a person/team for sponsorships
In order to build a strong relationship with the sponsor, it’s never a smart thought to continue introducing new faces to the sponsor, particularly in the early stages where you are as yet becoming more acquainted with one another. Have a particular person appointed to each potential sponsor, or a devote a specific team for sponsorships and liaising among you and the sponsors at large. This will allow for the easier formation of a durable relationship and will enable them to return for future occasions once they feel that there is a built-up communication process for on-going projects.
Discuss the follow-up routine with your sponsor – how and when you’ll follow up with them. Make sure to actually stick to the agreed upon days; this will mirror your seriousness and reliability! Reiterate your value statement and request feedback. The end result: building rapport and securing the sponsor!
The follow-up process doesn’t only apply to sponsors who you’ve communicated with back and forth, it further applies to those who didn’t respond from the earliest starting point. You can always follow up with emails and social media outreach.
Give them exposure in your event app
What benefits a company from sponsoring an event is the brand awareness and potential customers it gains through it. That’s where an event app can play a significant role.
Any great event app will provide you with various opportunities to feature your sponsors and give them high visibility. By placing their logo and promoting their products in the app’s homepage, main menu and agenda, the sponsor will have a wide reach to all the app users. You can also allow them to share sponsored posts and send push notifications to a specific target audience or to all the event visitors, with promotional messages for example.
Read more: Do you really need an event app?
This kind of publicity can be very valuable to prospective sponsors, so if you’re using an event app, pitch in its significance in your proposal or presentation to close the deal.
Construct an event sponsorship agreement/contract
A sponsorship in essence is a business deal between two parties: you and your sponsor. Consequently, either an agreement or contract have to be in place. They must contain the tiniest of details, along with terms and conditions of the agreement. It is best that this takes place in written composed form, to guarantee and demonstrate that any transactions between both of you are recorded and consented to. This evacuates any risk of debate and disputes in the future and ensures that a solid relationship will continue after the sponsorship takes place!
These steps should give you a head-start, so make it a point to incorporate all of the above tips! Reach out to us to discuss together how our event tech solutions could help you in your hunt for sponsors.